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Osanna - Preludio, Tema, Variazioni, Canzona  [Aka: Milano Calibro 9 (OST)] CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.57 | 91 ratings

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4 stars Despite being largely instrumental and partially composed by Luis E. Bacalov, the soundtrack to Milano Calibro 9 is Osanna's most successful effort as a band and their best album in my opinion. L'Uomo was a laborious debut, and the popular Palepoli is too fractured and chaotic for my tastes; Milano Calibro 9 finds a perfect middle ground, blending the band's hard-rocking beginnings with later diverse influences seamlessly. Interestingly, the album is not a soundtrack at all but a separate studio recording of the film's score - the music heard in the actual film was performed and recorded live and differs significantly from the LP version. The album is a more concise and calculated rendering of those somewhat raw and off-the-cuff performances. Also of interest is "Canzona," which is not featured in the movie at all, but tacked on to the end of the soundtrack and the only true vocal track here. Milano Calibro 9 can be placed among the great film soundtracks of all time, matching Goblin's best work and even exceeding it on some levels.

Milano Calibro 9 is an Italian crime thriller with plenty of action and creative cinematography. After the respective success of L'Uomo and New Trolls' Concerto Grosso, Osanna and Bacalov were paired to score the film. Bacalov's distinctive orchestration is primarily limited to the first two pieces, "Preludio" and "Tema." The first is led by a repeating piano figure that is used throughout the film as incidental music. "Preludio" builds on the piano motif, gradually adding heavy guitar and strings, before the band proper enters fully. Osanna's characteristic flute sound makes an appearance or two, while singer Lino Varietti is no where to be found (he is also credited with ARP synthesizer, which is heard briefly oscillating at the end). "Tema" is a far more restrained affair, gently balancing delicate piano and strings as Danilo Rustici strums crystalline chords. The guitarist then impresses with a backwards guitar solo as drums and bass pump and sway. This first nine minutes of music are moody, over-the-top and self-important...a true RPI fan's dream.

A series of "Variazione" pieces make up the bulk of the album, and are nothing more than Osanna jamming out to the movie. The music is strong enough to stand on its own, but seeing it in context certainly helps. Highlights abound, but specifically "Variazione II (My Mind Flies)" and the spacey atmosphere it creates is extremely rewarding, particularly the acoustic bridge where Varietti enters for the first time. The instrumentals continue with the Tullish "Variazione III," heavy riffing on "Variazione IV," bluesy swagger of "Variazione VI," and jazz tones on "Variazione VII." Though these diverse elements seem random and arbitrary it somehow just works. Tying everything together is the saccharine "Canzona (There Will Be Time)." The song showcases the collaborative spirit with Bacalov, perhaps even more than his work with New Trolls. Lyrically the song is inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," and embodies the anguish and cautious optimism of that work commendably. Milano Calibro 9 is a must for OST collectors and any RPI enthusiast; the general prog audience may find the album boring with repeated listens.

coasterzombie | 4/5 |


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